Inclusive learning program getting results for Prairie Rose

Inclusive learning teacher Megan Cross at Margaret Wooding School in Redcliff was part of a presentation the school gave to the Prairie Rose Public Schools board of trustees Tuesday.

Once a student has been referred to the Literacy Interventions program, they take a core phonics assessment. It tells Cross what part of reading the student is struggling with. Cross then uses UFLI (University of Florida Literacy Institute), which she couldn’t say enough good things about.

UFLI was introduced into PRPS in September. Superintendent Reagan Weeks said last spring she was deciding what resources to use for the science of reading.

“What drew us most to UFLI is that it wasn’t owned by a publishing company and wasn’t making any money for a company. We trusted and believed in the motives of those producing the work, and much of it was available at no cost,” stated Weeks.

UFLI has made a significant impact on the Grade 4 group, which was significantly impacted by the pandemic. There are 17 students receiving some sort of intervention based on UFLI program. Cross showed the UFLI website and how she uses it. Each stage in the program has a Google slide show based on the five pillars of literacy. It is all free to the school and Cross and her students use it each day.

Student growth from using the program has been phenomenal, she says. One student could only read very basic words when he started and is now reading full paragraphs fluently. Cross puts UFLI up on the smartboard and the class goes through the exercises together. All intervention students have a folder that is sent home so their parents can also go through the reading exercises with them.

When Grade 6 students were assessed for reading, most of the issues were with multisyllabic words. Cross uses the website Word Connections, a multisyllabic word reading program, for this group. It follows the science of reading and all resources are free to use.

This is a new role for Cross this year, who is pursuing her Master’s in literacy.

SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News